Friday, March 11, 2011
Hope for a happy ending
Corey woke me up at 3:22am to tell me there had been an earthquake and tsunami in Japan. I couldn't really process that information before falling back asleep, but it was the first thing on my mind when I woke up.
As I listened to news about the disaster on my way to work, I began thinking about who I know in Japan. I was friends in high school with a foreign exchange student named Yoko. We remained pen pals for a few years but stopped writing in college. I wondered if she and her twin sister are ok. I also thought about one of my favorite authors, Haruki Murakami, who lives in Tokyo.
Tonight I googled Haruki Murakami with tsunami to find out if he is safe. That question wasn't answered, but I found this eery article opener from The Los Angeles Times on February 25, 2005:
TOKYO — Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has never witnessed a tsunami. But he has imagined one.
In his 1988 short story "The Seventh Man," Murakami's narrator is a man damaged by the childhood memory of watching his best friend sucked away by a killer wave, the furious sea retreating, he wrote, as if "a gigantic rug had been yanked by someone at the other end of the earth." A stream of fiction has come from Murakami since that story. But its theme of inconsolable loss came back to the author while watching images of Southeast Asia's recent calamity, where anguish endures long after the calamity passes.
I haven't read "The Seventh Man" but its relevance makes me want to read it before some of the other things written by him which I still haven't read. (I have read Kafka on the Shore and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle.)
Haruki and Yoko I'm thinking of you today!